Ground-breaking news for malaria control. With a simple ventilation tube, the EaveTubes, the Dutch inventor Anne Osinga of In2Care, was able to reduce malaria by 47 percent in Ivory Coast. The renowned international medical journal The Lancet publishes the results of a scientific study on this invention. The research was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The research shows that Malaria mosquitoes are attracted to human smell
The EaveTube is a ventilation tube in which a gauze disk with insecticide powder is installed under the eaves of a house. Humans have an average body temperature of 37 degrees and their odor rises with the climate, this in combination with CO2 attracts the malaria mosquito. The combination of warm air with human odours that rises up in the house and exits through the EaveTube is what attracts the mosquitoes. That is why mosquitoes like to fly in through the EaveTubes. However, they do not get very far, because in the tube the mosquitoes come in contact with the powdered gauze and die. It was observed that even resistant mosquitoes died after getting in contact with the gauze.
Hundred times less poison
Osinga said, “In comparable studies, mosquito nets only reduce malaria by 12 percent, also because they are often used for other purposes, such as making a chicken coop or a football goal. EaveTubes offer four times better protection. Plus, a disk with insecticides only costs a dime. This allows us to protect five times more homes than current control methods such as spraying insecticides on the walls. Moreover, it is better for health, because a hundred times less poison is used.”
More than 400,000 deaths from malaria
For the study between 2016 and 2019, a total of 30,000 EaveTubes were placed in 3,000 houses in Ivory Coast. In villages where EaveTubes were installed, in at least 70 percent of the houses, 47 percent less malaria infection was found in children compared to villages without EaveTubes.
Worldwide more than 400,000 people died from malaria in 2019, according to the World Health Organization.
Independent mosquito expert associate professor Sander Koenraadt of Wageningen University & Research, not connected to the research, is positive about the EaveTubes. He commented, “In2Care has shown that it was possible to reduce the number of malaria cases with a new control method. The whole house will be improved, making it a more sustainable solution for malaria control.”
The study was conducted in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Institut Pierre Richet.